Monday, May 20, 2013

Testing, testing...

Can I just say how excited I am?!?! This first day at school with my cochlear implant turned on was not high on my list of priorities. In fact, I was sort of dreading it. I was sure the noise and static would get to me and I would have to remove my processor before day's end. That was not the case. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised at how well my hearing was today. I came home in a good mood, and it was a MONDAY!

I showed my students the processor and explained to them how it worked. I showed them that the magnet in the coil sticks to the metal chair and to my head. They thought that was cool. (I'm a little amazed by that too!) I told them that I could hear better now, but when they all talk at once I can't understand them - it's just a bunch of noise. I need everyone to talk one at a time so I can understand what they are saying. A few times today, when I couldn't understand them, I saw them shushing their fellow students so that they could be heard. (Maybe I should have used that line at the beginning of the year!) Anyway, I passed day one of the "classroom test". We'll see how tomorrow goes.

I also got to test out my CI at a retirement party this afternoon. A crowded room full of noisy conversations on Saturday put my CI into a tailspin and all I could hear was static and electronic noise. I had to remove it for a while. Today, no need. While there was background noise that was difficult to shut out, I could hear more conversation. I still missed some things, but I caught more than I have in the last 6 months, and maybe even more than before I had my sudden hearing loss. It was promising instead of depressing, which is what situations like that usually are for me. The background noise and hum of many conversations going on simultaneously just drowns out the voices I am trying to hear, no matter how close I am or how hard I am concentrating. Today, I felt like I was close to being able to hear and participate even at a noisy party. HOPE.

Sometime on Sunday, voices moved from being mostly robotic to more munchkin-sounding. I almost laughed during church as I listened to the congregation singing and it sounded very much like I was surrounded by a munchkin choir.

Tonight I changed to program three. My assignment was to work my way up to three or four by my appointment on Wednesday. I am being a model student and doing my homework. I am happy that sound is becoming "normal" and I am adjusting as quickly as I am. I really didn't expect these results this fast. Sounds aren't yet normal. Everything still has that electronic ringing and voices are still munchkin-like, but each day gets a little better. Music isn't quite as wonderful, but I am not concentrating my effort on that at this time. I want to get speech recognition mastered first. My audiologist said it would take several months to enjoy music and get to the point where I would be able to sing in choir, praise team, etc.

My new sound to rejoice over today? I can now hear the beeper on the oven timer - even from another room! Believe me when I say the whole family is happy about that!

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